Townsend voters will have a choice among five candidates seeking three Town Council seats in next month’s municipal election.
Incumbents Dwain Haines and John Ness are both seeking another two-year term, while residents Lorraine Gorman, Sandra Sturgis and Rudolph Sutton Jr. also filed their candidacy papers before the April 4 deadline.
Incumbent Councilwoman Karen Jennings opted not to seek a fourth term. She could not be reached for comment this week.
Ness, a five-year Townsend resident first elected to council in 2009, said public safety and the town’s fiscal stability would be among his priorities if he’s re-elected on May 4.
“I am concerned about the well-being of residents, improvements in the quality of life and the safety of all that live in Townsend,” the applications programmer for JPMorgan Chase said. “We also have gone through some rough economic times and adjusted the budget accordingly. I would like to continue this scrutiny to ensure the town stays within its budget and maintains a balance of sustained growth.”
Haines, a 10-year resident first elected in 2011, said he wants to help usher in changes to town government he argues are needed and long overdue.
“Over the last two years, not everyone on council has been able to get along and some things that need to happen haven’t gotten done,” said Haines, who works for the state highway department. “Our charter is outdated and needs to be changed. One of those changes, I think, should include allowing the people to vote for the mayor, instead of council picking who they want it to be.”
Former town councilwoman Sandra Sturgis, an 8-year resident who stepped down from her elected office last summer, said she’s ready to regain her seat.
“I had a lot going on when I left and felt I wasn’t able to give the office the attention it deserves,” the former production worker at BBSI said. “I’ve gotten those things straightened out and I’m ready to serve on council again.”
Lorraine Gorman, a 5-year resident of Townsend, said she wants to take an active role in guiding future growth, while preserving the area’s small town charm.
“I’ve been involved with different things in town and I’ve been attending town council meetings for four years,” the right-of-way agent for New Castle County said. “I’ve got a lot of energy and experience working with developers, municipalities, counties and DelDOT that I think will be helpful on council.”
Rudy Sutton, a town resident since 2006, said he wants to preserve the family atmosphere that makes Townsend unique.
Page 2 of 2 - “I want to be a voice for the people and help bring about any changes that would be for the good of the area,” the building contractor said. “Townsend has a completely different atmosphere than New Castle and I want to work to keep it that way.”
The top three vote-getters in the May 4 municipal election will win office.
Townsend residents have until April 19 to register to vote in the upcoming town election.
Voters must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and have lived in town, or legally owned property in Townsend, for 90 consecutive days prior to the election.
Voters can register at Town Hall, 661 South St., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays up until 4 p.m. on Friday, April 19.
The town also will hold special weekend and evening voter registration hours from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 6 and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 17.